By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
The world’s greatest swordsman tries to build a new life in the Old West, but his past comes after him. Violence ensues.
The Warrior’s Way gets props simply for the idea. Genre-mashing spaghetti westerns and wuxia martial arts movies is a brilliant idea, and hopefully somebody will give it a shot again in the future. The sets were really cool, probably green-screen, but reminding me of some of the best old-school set paintings like Martin Scorcese used in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore or the Night of the Hunter featured so mesmerizingly. They give a surreal dimension to the film that was perfect for it.
This is what I’m talking about
And here are some explosions and boobies if you found that boring.
You also have to tip a beer to the fight sequences, which are action-packed and full of uniquely stylized violence. In fact, most of the flick knows style like Chanel, and is almost as badass.
Coco Chanel, contemplating beating your ass
Unfortunately, the movie supports the style with little to no substance. The script is just not good, substituting ball jokes and laughing babies for cleverness. Also, apparently the best way to show a boy’s graduation to a killer is have him murder his lapdog.
For a movie that is all about style and action, it’d be nice to keep it classy. The director goes the opposite direction with his heavy-handed use of slo-mo, especially in one scene where we see our heroine do absolutely nothing of interest at half-speed. This is the kind of slo-mo Steven Seagal uses to make it look like he’s doing anything but half-heartedly slapping at the bad guys and daydreaming about his next Twinkie.
A final beer to the at times cheap CGI. For the most part the CGI is good, but I’m guessing that at some point the director wanted to add a bit more than the budget allowed, so he decided to go bargain basement with it. The result looks like it’s from a videogame.
Which is not exactly photorealistic
Watch it if you have the time and can enjoy a movie solely for its style and action scenes.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: whenever Geoffrey Rush does something rascally
Take a drink: whenever the action goes into gratuitous slo-mo
Drink a shot: whenever the baby smiles